Can eKYC survive AI-generated deep-fakes?

AI-generated deep-fakes sound scary. And rightly so. They pose a risk to privacy, trust, information security, and anything imaginable, including the integrity of eKYC. Can eKYC survive the threat of AI-generated deep-fakes? Is there hope for eKYC, or is it now just zombie tech? Let’s have a look.

The threat of AI-generated deep-fakes

So, super-quick, what are AI-generated deep-fakes? In plain terms, AI-generated deep-fakes are synthetic images or videos that “appear real” and are “difficult to detect as fake”. These deep-fakes use advanced AI algorithms on steroids to create images, videos, and audio that mimic real-life scenarios, to the point they blow your mind. Anyhow, with the rise of social media and the internet, deep-fakes have become a growing concern, as they can be used to manipulate public opinion, defame individuals, or spread misinformation. And do all sorts of terrible stuff.

Therefore, the single biggest challenge with deep-fakes is the potential harm they can cause to individuals and society as a whole. For example, a deep-fake video of a political leader making controversial statements could lead to unrest and even violence. Before people are alerted of its spurious nature. Additionally, deep-fakes can be used to create fake news stories, which can spread quickly and cause confusion and panic. As technology continues to advance, it is important for individuals and organisations to be aware of the potential dangers of deep-fakes, and take steps to prevent their spread.

The benefits and limitations of eKYC in tackling threats

Let’s go back to eKYC for a minute, and list its benefits and drawbacks, after which we can better understand how AI-generated deep-fakes affect eKYC.

The main benefits of eKYC are as follows:

  • Speed and convenience
  • Reduced risk of human error
  • Reduced costs of customer onboarding
  • Easier to scale for larger businesses
  • Stronger compliance with government regulations
  • General safety from fraud and money laundering
  • Improved customer user experience and trust

However, eKYC has its limitations. It is susceptible to hacking and identity theft, making it essential to ensure that proper security measures are in place.

  • Susceptible to identity theft and hacking
  • Not accessible to those without access to internet or smartphones
  • Potential for errors if “outdated” data is used
  • Effectiveness remains uncertain over deep-fakes and AI generated content

The dangers of AI-generated deep-fakes for eKYC

At Sahal, we are privy to the reality that AI-generated deep-fakes pose a significant risk to eKYC. Deep-fakes can be used to create fake identities that pass the eKYC authentication process. This can lead to identity theft and fraud, as well as jeopardize national security. Moreover, deep-fakes can be used to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data, leading to data breaches and loss of personal information.

We are yet to mention that the use of deep-fakes in eKYC can also lead to discrimination and bias. If the AI algorithms used to authenticate identities are trained on biased data, it can result in the exclusion of certain groups of people who may not fit the algorithm’s preconceived notions of what a “valid” identity looks like. This can perpetuate existing inequalities and further marginalise already vulnerable populations.

Keep reading to see how this is already causing problems in real-life.

Chilling real life examples of AI-generated deep-fakes in eKYC

Already, there have been several real-life examples of AI-generated deep-fakes being used to bypass eKYC authentication. In 2019, a deep-fake video was used to scam a CEO into wiring $243,000 to a bank account. Similarly, in 2021, a criminal gang used deep-fakes to bypass eKYC authentication and access bank accounts containing millions of dollars.

These incidents have raised valid concerns about the security of eKYC systems and the potential for deep-fakes to be used for fraudulent activities. As a result, many companies are forced to invest in advanced AI technologies to detect and prevent deep-fakes from being used in eKYC authentication. Additionally, regulatory bodies are also taking steps to ensure that eKYC systems are secure and reliable, and that appropriate measures are in place to prevent deep-fake fraud. Though, some regulatory bodies are acting faster than others.

The impact of AI-generated deep-fakes on the security of eKYC

We have stablished that the impact of AI-generated deep-fakes on the security of eKYC is significant. It undermines the reliability, accuracy, and trustworthiness of eKYC. The increased risk of identity theft and fraud can lead to massive economic and financial losses. It also poses a threat to national security, as criminals can use deep-fakes to gain access to critical infrastructure and government databases.

One of the major challenges in combating deep-fakes is the difficulty in detecting them. As AI technology advances, it becomes easier for criminals to create more convincing deep-fakes that are harder to detect. This makes it even more important for organizations to implement robust security measures to prevent deep-fakes from being used to compromise their systems.

Yet another potential impact of AI-generated deep-fakes on eKYC is the erosion of public trust in the technology. If people begin to doubt the accuracy and reliability of eKYC due to the prevalence of deep-fakes, they may be less likely to use it. This could have serious consequences for businesses and governments that rely on eKYC for identity verification and authentication.

It’s time to take this seriously and explore technologies to counter this trend. See below to find out what’s already happening in this space.

Current measures in place to combat AI-generated deep-fakes in eKYC

Several measures are gradually appearing to combat AI-generated deep-fakes in eKYC. These include using stronger authentication methods, such as biometrics or two-factor authentication, to verify the identity of an individual. Additionally, AI-based tools are being developed to detect deep-fakes and alert authorities if detected. Finally, regulatory bodies are working to establish guidelines and regulations to ensure the security, privacy, and reliability of eKYC.

Another measure being explored is the use of blockchain technology to secure eKYC data. By using a decentralized system, it becomes more difficult for hackers to manipulate or steal data. This technology also allows for greater transparency and accountability in the verification process.

Furthermore, companies are investing in training their employees to identify deep-fakes and other forms of fraud. This includes educating them on the latest techniques and technologies used by fraudsters, as well as providing them with tools to detect and report suspicious activity.

Currently, that’s a quick tour of the solutions to tackle the threat of AI-generated deep fakes, but there’s more. The World Economic Forum is a useful source to help you better understand deep-fakes and the risks they present to business and wider society.

The future of eKYC in the age of AI-generated deep-fakes

Honestly, the future of eKYC in the age of AI-generated deep-fakes is uncertain. While technology is rapidly advancing to detect deep-fakes, so are the tactics used by criminals. Therefore, it’s essential to continue developing new ways to verify identity and prevent deep-fake attacks. The future of eKYC also depends on the regulatory framework and measures put in place to ensure security, privacy, and reliability.

What can providers do?

There are several potential solutions providers can adopt to strengthen eKYC against AI-generated deep-fakes. These include investing in the latest advanced AI-based tools for detecting deep-fakes, which are already emerging. Similarly, providers will have to remain abreast of all key developments in this realm and remain prepared to change strategies as the situation changes. At Sahal, we take this threat seriously, and are doing our bit to educate our clients and the public to ensure they are aware of the advantages and limitations of eKYC.

Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that eKYC providers have robust security measures in place to prevent hacking and data breaches of their own databases.

What can businesses do?

Businesses like yours will be expected to adapt to the threat of AI-generated deep-fakes in eKYC. There are several ways to get started. This includes introducing stronger authentication methods, implementing AI-based tools for detecting deep-fakes, and establishing a robust security infrastructure. It’s also essential to develop guidelines and regulations for eKYC and educate employees and customers on the risks of deep-fakes.

What can individuals do?

Individuals, i.e. “you” can protect themselves from identity theft with the rise of AI-generated deep-fakes in eKYC by being vigilant and cautious when sharing personal information. You should always verify the legitimacy of an eKYC provider and avoid sharing sensitive data on unsecured networks. It’s also essential to keep track of one’s financial accounts and report any fraudulent activity immediately.

A Developing Situation

The legal implications and regulatory framework surrounding eKYC and AI-generated deep-fakes are complex. Governments worldwide are still working on creating regulatory frameworks and guidelines that safeguard individuals’ rights and data privacy. In other words, this is a developing situation, and we are yet to see how things will culminate.

But the unavoidable conclusion is that the threat of AI-generated deep-fakes to eKYC is ever-increasing. It requires collaborative efforts from individuals, businesses, and regulatory bodies to ensure the security, privacy, and reliability of eKYC. While eKYC offers speed and convenience, it must not compromise the security of personal data.

If you are looking for a 100% spoof-free terminal to verify and safeguard your customer’s data, skip this blog and reach out to our team. Sahal AI’s Compliance as a Service program is what you need, even more than the finest blog or deep-fakes guide.

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